Topic development and structuring a systematic review of diagnostic tests are complementary processes. The goals of a medical test review are to identify and synthesize evidence to evaluate the impacts alternative testing strategies on health outcomes and to promote informed decision making. A common challenge is that the request for a review may state the claim for the test ambiguously. Due to the indirect impact of medical tests on clinical outcomes, reviewers need to identify which intermediate outcomes link a medical test to improved clinical outcomes. In this paper, we propose the use of five principles to deal with challenges: the PICOTS typology (patient population, intervention, comparator, outcomes, timing, setting), analytic frameworks, simple decision trees, other organizing frameworks and rules for when diagnostic accuracy is sufficient.